With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“I think I’ve made up my mind, now I understand who I am” February 10, 2013


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I have been a lazy blogger over the past few weeks for various reasons, so for that I would like to apologise to my regular readers. Although to be fair many of you may have enjoyed the respite. Anyway I hope to be taking plenty of servings of Blogger Bran to make me a more regular poster. Todays post is essentially an open letter/ job application to Jim Henson.

Dear Jim,

I have loved the Muppets ever since the Muppet Show first appeared on UK TV back in the late 70s. My favourite characters initially were Kermit, Robin, Beaker and Animal. More recently, perhaps with age and wisdom it has become Waldorf & Stadtler and Sam the American Bald Eagle. When I started losing my hair a number of my friends likened me to Sam. Which to me has become a badge of honour.

Anyway let me explain why I am writing to you about employment. I started work in 1975 and since 1997 I have been a Programme/ Project Manager. I won’t outline the intricate detail of what I do for a living as I am sure you would be asleep after the first sentence. I feel that I have much of the right experience to work within your organisation. Mostly as I have worked with some real Muppets, particularly over the past 16 years. People with a complete lack of common sense (or any sense in some cases) and people who seem to be operated by a Muppeteer or at the very least must be controlled by having someone’s hand up their rear end.

I would be happy to offer my cv/ resume on request but I would also be keen to discuss opportunities with you. I would love to start at the bottom of the ladder, perhaps with a small part in the next Muppet movie. Just for the record I prefer to work without someone’s clenched hand inserted anywhere on my person.

I look forward to speaking to you and in the meantime I will be returning to the corporate world of Muppets tomorrow

Kind Regards

Bill – A Man not a Muppet

NOTE – not everyone I have worked with is a Muppet, those of you who are not Muppets will know that. Those of you that are Muppets probably won’t know!

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Jim+Henson

 

“250,000 Miles On A Clear Night In June” June 27, 2011


Just a few random things heading your way for this post. Let’s start with the sale of an iconic item of Michael Jackson’s clothing, it’s the jacket that he wore in the “Thriller” video. It sold recently for £1.1m in an auction in Beverley Hills. It was bought by an US Commodities Trader who plans to use it to raise money for children’s charities. Given the many allegations made against Jacko the use of his old clothes in that way does seem somewhat appropriate, doesn’t it? Click here to read the story on the BBC.

Lady Gaga is being sued in the USA for allegedly pocketing far more money than is appropriate in the sale of her Japan Earthquake Relief wristbands. The lawsuit, in which she is being sued for more than £3m, alleges that the wristbands are sold for $5 each and include shipping and tax costs meaning less than 10% would reach its beneficiaries. But obviously we don’t know how much of the detail Gaga herself is aware of, so watch this space and click here to read the story on the NME site.

Madonna will soon feature in a comic in the US. It will be in Bluewater Productions ‘Female Force’ series of comics. It’s hardly Batman or the Fantastic Four is it? Even more so when you consider that some of the other women to have featured to date are; Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin and Margaret Thatcher. I suppose that the latter two could almost pass as super villains though. Even though I have a large collection of comics I think it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be buying the Amazing Adventures Of Madge.

To coincide with the release of the new Muppets movie later this year a number of rock acts have recorded cover versions of many Muppet numbers. Amy Lee off of Evanescence has  recorded one of my favourite Muppet songs, “Halfway Down The Stairs” originally sung by Kermit’s nephew Robin. Weezer and Hayley Williams off of Paramore have covered “Rainbow Connection”. Other artists recording songs for the album are; Alkaline Trio, My Morning Jacket, Airborne Toxic Event and OK Go.

It's a tragedy that Gaga has not been allowed to record a Muppet song, especially after she murdered so many of Kermit's relatives to make her dress.

Did you see any of the Glasto coverage? I thought the BBC did a great job with it, although I didn’t see the Wombles anywhere! As for the headliners; I thought U2 were ok, Coldplay were bloody good and Beyoncé was truly amazing. She even managed to cover Eurythmics, Alanis Morrisette, Prince and the Kings Of Leon. despite the rumours that her man Jay Z would join her on stage, he didn’t, but she did a rather interesting duet with Tricky. My main thought as I watched her was how little talent the likes of Cheryl Cole actually have.

I’m loving the new Eminem video for “Space Bound”, what do you think of it? It does contain the usual element of controversy from Mr Mathers. This time gun related. But I really believe the man is on top form.

Gaga just get's everywhere doesn't she?

And finally would you like your girlfriend, wife or partner to wear knickers with a picture of Thom Yorke on them? personally I wouldn’t, but if you’re that way inclined you can actually buy them. Has anyone reading this purchased any of them? Click here to see for yourself.

 

“I wanna say, I wanna tell you, about the young ideas, but you turn them into fears” February 25, 2009


Hello again folks, well it looks like the ‘Lily Allen Naked’ experiment didn’t work. There were twice as many views yesterday than normal, but most of these were views of the gig review I posted in addition to yesterdays usual post. So I guess that means gig reviews and fart jokes can impact the views on this blog but the suggestion of a picture of Lily Allen naked can’t. So does that conclude the ‘Lily Allen naked’ experiment? Maybe it does except to say that we might possibly go for a ‘Lily Allen naked experiment at a future date. Although the fact that this paragraph now contains the phrase ‘Lily Allen naked’ five times might make a difference for today. Confused? I’m not surprised!

So on with the show, kicking off with a couple of birthdays. First up for February 25th is that it would have been the 66th birthday of the late great (still there aren’t they those old l’s and g’s) George Harrison the youngest of the Fab Four. Sadly though he succumbed to cancer on 29th November 2001. George wasn’t the first Beatle to release solo material, that was Paul McCartney, however George was the first to release an album on the Beatles Apple label with “Wonderwall Music” the soundtrack to the film ‘Wonderwall’. This also went on to become the title of one of the top Beatles tribute bands Oasis’ songs “Wonderwall”. If anyone has any idea what a Wonderwall is please send your answers on a postcard, or more preferably in the blog comments facility. There may even be a small prize available for the best answer! George was also the first Beatle to have a solo number one with “My Sweet Lord”. The story of the plagiarism legal battle he faced from the writers of the Chiffons “He’s So Fine” over “My Sweet Lord” is well documented so I won’t dwell on that here. However a little known fact about the song is that Harrison originally gave it to Billy Preston and in fact it was lined up as a potential single for Mr Preston. Seen as a more ‘junior’ writer within the Beatles Harrison had also originally given the wonderful “Something” to Joe Cocker before the moptops recorded it for the Abbey Road album.

George wondered how long it would be before John and Paul would let him play with a big boys guitar

George wondered how long it would be before John and Paul would let him play with a big boys guitar

Incidentally “Something” was written about George’s wife Patti who later went on to marry his friend Eric Clapton. Clapton wrote both “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” for Patti. This must make her the only person to have so many classic songs written especially for her surely? In spite of the fact that Patti left George for Eric the guys stayed great friends right up to Harrisons death.

In the 60s George really took Flower Power to extremes

In the 60s George really took Flower Power to extremes

In 1974 Harrison set up his own label ‘Dark Horse’ it’s first signings were Ravi Shankar and the band ‘Splinter’. Apart from Harrison himself the only act to have a hit on ‘Dark Horse’ were Splinter who charted with the song “Costafine Town“. Have a listen to it, I think it’s aged quite well, what do you think? George produced two Splinter albums under the not well disguised name Hari Georgeson. This became the name that the NME used for him throughout the 70s too

George soon realised that what he thought was just a frog in the throat was in fact far more serious

George soon realised that what he thought was just a frog in the throat was in fact far more serious

Here is George with the criminally underplayed “When We Was Fab

The last of todays birthdays is that of Stuart “Woody” Wood of the Bay City Rollers, it’s his 52nd birthday. The band had been around for a while before Stuart joined in January 1973, the same time as lead singer Les McKeown joined the group. The band’s rise to the heights of ‘Rollermania’ began in 1974 with “Remember (Sha La La)” and peaked in the UK in 1975 with their two number ones “Bye Bye Baby” and “Give A Little Love”. They also hit the top spot in January 1976 in the US with “Saturday Night”. Most of their sings were either covers or written for them by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, however in December 1975 they had a hit with “Money Honey” which was written by Stuart Wood and fellow Roller Eric Faulkner

Woody was sure he had requested a mirrored ceiling, but decided he'd have to put up with a mirrored floor instead

Woody was sure he had requested a mirrored ceiling, but decided he'd have to put up with a mirrored floor instead

On this day in 1963 saw the first release of a Beatles single in the USA when “Please, Please Me” was issued on the Vee Jay label. I would imagine that a copy of this single might be quite valuable, largely because the name of the band was spelled wrong as the Beattles. The boys went on to capture all the top 5 places in the US singles chart for one week in 1964

How things might have looked if the Beatles had arrived in a more modern age

How things might have looked if the Beatles had arrived in a more modern age

And (almost) finally for today the Jam signed a £6,000 contract with Polydor Records.The band (Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler) came together at school in Surrey and went on to play chart and r & b covers across pubs and working men clubs across Surrey and surrounding area. As punk began to break in 1976 they rode the wave like many others, but were never really a punk band in my opinion, a great band nonetheless. They started to get gigs at the Marquee and the 100 Club in London and in 1976 they auditioned for Terry Slater of EMI and were turned down. Perhaps not on the scale of Decca turning down the Beatles but still a big mistake. Their audition for Polydor’s Chris Parry came about after Chris was urged to see them by one Shane McGowan, then leading the ‘Nipple Erectors’ but later more well known as front man of the Pogues. They were a part of the Clash’s short lived ‘White Riot’ tour in 1976 but left following an argument with the headliners. It took them just 11 days to record their first album on which all the songs were written by Paul Weller who was just 19 at the time. Their first single was the album’s title track “In The City” Click the song title to see the band performing the song at the 100 Club in Oxford Street in 1977. Weller disbanded the group in 1982 to follow a new direction with the Style Council and then later to massive solo success. Breaking a great band up at the height of their success may have seemed like the wrong thing to do at the time, but it certainly never harmed Mr Weller’s career. Buckler and Foxton now tour as what in my opinion are little more than a tribute band ‘From The Jam’

Paul and Bruce practice for their advanced guitar Ninja exams

Paul and Bruce practice for their advanced guitar Ninja exams

Catwoman and I saw Paul Weller at the Manchester MEN Arena last year and he was fantastic, he even included a few Jam and Style Council songs in his set. If you haven’t heard his current album ‘22 Dreams‘ shame on you. Go and rectify that issue NOW! In the meantime click on the album title to hear a BBC4 sessions version of the title song

paul steadfastly refused to wear a red nose, even for Comic Relief!

paul steadfastly refused to wear a red nose, even for Comic Relief!

And finally finally, now I really mean finally this time! Here is probably the most infectious and annoying clip I have seen for ages, it’s a cat dancing to the “Peanut Butter, Jelly Song” just play it once and it will stick in your head for hours!

 

 
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